Tuesday 18 October 2016

Project launched to mark centenary of Frongoch's 'University of Revolution' internment camp in Wales

The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) has announced a new collaborative heritage project – Frongoch and 1916: Recreating a Lost Landscape – to mark the centenary of the Frongoch internment camp in Wales. Following the Easter Rising of 1916, approximately 1,800 Irish prisoners were held there. Among its 'guests' was Michael Collins.

The project is a collaboration between the Digital Repository of Ireland, National Museum of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, National Museum Wales and National Library Wales and will feature a series of new curated exhibitions of digital cultural heritage objects from Irish and Welsh sources, including photographs, letters, official documents, prisoner 'autograph books' and artworks. The historical background to this part of Ireland’s path to independence will be contextualised through expert commentary from historians based in Ireland, England, and Wales.

These thematically-arranged exhibitions will be freely available on the DRI's InspiringIreland website and will be augmented by previously unseen memorabilia from private collections. The latter has been digitised at public memorabilia collection days held in Dublin, London and New York over the last couple of years.

Frongoch provides a fascinating window into 1916 because the Irish prisoners, their Welsh guards and local townspeople created a kinship during this short imprisonment, leading to a fount of stories and an array of artefacts that mark the brief period of the camp’s existence. The camp was emptied in December 1916, but not before becoming known as ‘ollscoil na réabhlóide’, the "University of Revolution" for the discussions and classes that had been a dominant feature of the incarcerated community.

The first exhibitions are expected to become available on InspiringIreland in early December. You can find out more about the Frongoch and 1916 project here.

If you haven't already had a look at this digital heritage platform, I'd recommend you find time to do so. It already includes seven 1916 exhibitions:

Women of the Rising
Communicating the Rising
Rising in the Regions
Leaders of the Rising
1916: The Rising and beyond
Impact of the Rising
Remembering the Rising